Sunday, December 13, 2015

One Week.....

Until the end of deployment, hopefully!

Back on November 6th I was finally able to get into the laboratory to have another round of tests done.  It meant a near two hour drive up to Fort Leavenworth to have bloodwork done at an approved MTF (Military Treatment Facility).  *Side note to come back to: Tricare Prime when you temporarily live in a remote area may not be the best idea.

My brother Kevin who is totally Awesome made the drive up there with me in case I got lost and for support!  He had the afternoon off from classes that Friday.  On our way up there I learned that he had been up to the base before to play golf.  It turned out great that he came with me because there was road construction at the main gate of base and the gate that I thought that I could use to get on base I couldn’t.  Kevin knew which gate to go into.

After bloodwork I took him to the commissary with me.  The commissary carried Pumpkin Spice pop tarts and he stopped momentarily when he saw them.  I picked up a box and put them in the cart.  Kevin is a pumpkin spice freak.

After the commissary we walked through the Exchange.  He was impressed with all the stuff that they carry.  Kind of like Walmart only nicer; his words.  Our last stop on base was to fill up Nathan's truck with gas.  Gas was under $2 and after coming from the West Coast I just couldn't help but fill up the truck for that price.

Results came in the following week:
Tapazole reduced to 2.5mg on Sept. 16th
Diet, 5mg tapazole and cod liver oil pill (started August 10th)
Diet only but 5mg tapazole restarted on July 24th
Diet only
Stopped pills March 18th and started diet March 1st
10mg tapazole
10mg tapazole
less than .005
Started 10mg tapazole December 18th
less than .005

The last couple of weeks have been rough.  There were some issues with both of our homes.  Things that needed to be repaired, replaced and of course paid for.  Nothing too horrible to be honest but it made me realize that we will need to adjust verbiage in both leases when our current tenants move out.

It rained here for a couple of days in Kansas which was much needed however one night all the rain froze because the temperature dropped.  That following morning I had to get the truck down to Firestone to check and see what was going on with the maintenance/check engine light.  It had been on for the last week or so.  Anyway I turned onto a road and did a 360 in the truck.  I am fine.  I was just shaken up by the incident.

When I took Nathan’s truck down to Firestone it was determined that the oxygen sensor needed to be replaced.  The tech was great and answered my questions.  I was a little surprised though that the part was going to cost over $300 to replace.  The very next day I brought the truck back in to Firestone however I waited until the afternoon in case there was additional ice.  The part was replaced in an hour.

Nathan hasn’t received tickets for his flight to Kansas yet and unfortunately tickets may not be received until a day or two before he is scheduled to fly.

I burned my parents’ kitchen counter-top and somehow caused a bow in the oven door!  Yup my parents are going to be thrilled when I leave!  So I was cooking boxed Au gratin potatoes and put them in an aluminum pan.  As I was putting the pan in the oven I spilled half of it; on the oven door, on the floor and in the oven.  I was a little surprised the pan couldn’t stand up with all that liquid.  Note to self, next time put the aluminum pan on a cookie sheet.  This spill is what lead me to disassemble the oven door and clean it out.  Apparently when I put it back together it didn’t align appropriately and was causing a bow.  It took three people to fix it; myself, my brother David and my dad.

The burning of the kitchen counter-top was from cooking my morning breakfast.  I fried my plantains.  Went to put the pan in the sink but got sidetracked by something else that morning, I can’t remember now, and placed the pan on the counter-top without putting an oven mitt down first.  When I went back to clean the pan and lifted it off the counter not only did it burn it but the laminate had bubbled.  I tried to glue it and fix it before my dad got home but I was unsuccessful.  When my dad got home we rigged a weight and glued it.

How was your fall?!

Monday, October 19, 2015

1/3 The Way Through Deployment

The last couple of weeks I have been busy.  I have been helping my parents organize and cleaned out.  I think that they both can admit that they have some problems getting rid of things.  They aren't hoarders by any means.  They keep broken things that they like and know they can fix but they seriously just don't have the time to fix them.

An example of some projects I have been working on.  Hanging up a curtain.  When I arrived there were new curtains for my window with almost all the tools to put them up.  My father was getting to this but just didn't have time to finish it.  So one weekend while my parents were away traveling I finished it.  It took the use of power tools that weren't pulled out but I knew where they were so after checking that it was okay to put an additional hole in the wall, I took care of it.
Window before the curtain was put up
Window with the curtain up
My brothers spent another day with me outside organizing the garage.  Again we purged out what wasn't being used or not fixable.  Here is what Friday trash day looked like after that project.  It took us all day to do that.

Trash day after cleaning out the garage

It hasn't been all work and no fun!  We have been apple picking

Family selfie while apple picking

David & Kevin picking apples
Beautiful and delicious apples

Still picking apples
Pome on the Range
Picking apples
Pumpkin picking which also happened to be at the same place we went apple picking:
Going back deep to find the perfect pumpkin
Tough decisions with lots of great pumpkins
They are good to go!

To the mall up in Olathe (I believe that is the town the mall is in) and up to Baldwin City for the Maple Leaf Festival.

Baldwin City Maple Leaf Festival
Beautiful fall colors in Baldwin City
While up at the festival I cheated on my diet and had some local donuts to celebrate 1/3 of the way through deployment.

Nathan and I have been emailing each other every day for the most part.  He did pull into port early this month.  While in port we did get an opportunity to Hangout, which I wasn't expecting at all.  I thought a phone call might be possible but I didn't think we would be able to use Google Hangouts and have video calls.  I was thrilled!  If all goes well he will be in the next port soon and we will be able to Hangout again.

Hopefully the rest of deployment goes by as quickly as the first part!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Start of Deployment #2 or #3

....depending on what one would consider a deployment.  I call it deployment #3 because we are separated for more than a month.

Nathan was out of the country on a trip for about 5 days but it was really a week when you count travel days.  I picked him up from the local international airport.  I kid you not 21 hours later I was dropping him off at the military air terminal for deployment.  Life of a military family!
Nathan at military air terminal for deployment
September 15th the moving company was at the house to pack us up, load us on the truck and were out of the house.  This was all in a 4 hour window.  I have been very pleased with the moving company.  In the afternoon the endocrinologist called me back about the blood work from the first week of September.  The news...cut the pills down again.  Now at 2.5mg.  WOOHOO!!  One happy person!

September 16th Angel and I got on the road for our adventure/half-way cross country drive.  It was long and tiring driving by myself but Angel's company did force me to get out of the truck, get exercise, and just stop and get some air.  Pit stops involved putting gas in the truck, going pee, taking Angel out of her kennel and walking her to let her go to the bathroom, and then giving her some water.  Once I verified that the GPS was good to go we were back on the road.

The evening of September 16th we stopped in Holbrook, AZ.  The two exciting things that happened that day; a stop outside of Yuma, AZ for border patrol that only asked if I was a US citizen.  No showing of any type of ID necessary.  Then the drive through Phoenix, AZ where the LCD displays had a tip line phone number to call to provide information regarding the I-10 shooter.  We were off the road by 5:30pm or before sunset.  I was lucky that evening because I could order dinner from a restaurant to be delivered to the hotel room.  It was for the most part AIP approved.  Halibut cooked in a soy sauce, french fries and a salad on the side.  Yes, I have incorporated potato back into my diet without any problems.  Dinner also came with corn and a dinner roll.  Those I didn't eat.

September 17th our stop for the day was in Shamrock, TX.  Breakfast was eggs which I have also incorporated back into my diet without any problems.  No meat because the hotel served a sausage with pepper in it which I haven't incorporated back into my diet.  And a banana.  No major excitement this day.  This day's drive was all I-40.  We were off the road by 5:30pm.  I was not so lucky with the hotel in this town.  No restaurants delivered to the hotel and I didn't want to do a drive thru.  I ended up eating all the leftovers I had brought with me from the fridge before we left Imperial Beach.  It was a mix of things to include granola bars which are not AIP friendly.

September 18th we made it to Ottawa, KS safely.  Driving through Oklahoma City on I-40 was a little nerve-wracking as I missed the exit the GPS recommended instead I stayed on I-40 until I-35 connected.  I hit one heck of a thunderstorm at the OK/KS border.  The speed limit is 75mph and I drove 50mph through the storm.  Made it to Ottawa by 2:30pm Central time.

Sunday the 20th after some recovery and walking, mom and dad had a family brunch.  Missing from family brunch are Katy and RooRoo.

Half the Tyner gang cooking and half hanging out
More of the Tyner clan

Today the 26th I ran in a 5k in Lawrence, KS.  I am not really a big fan of running races.  I do go out for a jog but that is for me to try to get rid of stress.  When I go run a race of some type I do put more pressure on myself because I want to do well and of course would like to win.  Not win in terms of the entire race but maybe in my age range/category.  At least this was how I felt the last time I ran a 5k and that was when I lived in Vermont.  Instead what happened back then was I made myself look like a fool because I wasn't prepared and wasn't expecting it to be as difficult, I mean it is only 3.1 miles.

Anyway, the Tyner family has been doing a Tyner Family Fitness Challenge that will last 8 weeks.  We have been through 4 weeks.  Each week there is a challenge; don't consume soda for a week, donate to a food pantry, partake in a group class, try a workout that is not in your normal routine, go to your local farmer's' market, etc.  The only challenge that lasted the full 8 weeks was to participate in a 5k.  Note I said participate, you didn't have to run and got the full points if you walked it.  I figured if I was going to do the 5k I was going to run.

Mid week I asked my father if he was interested in running a 5k that was fairly close.  At least we didn't have to drive to a bigger city/town at quite a distance away.  He thought sure.  The other day he asked if we could still register online.  Sure enough registration was still open online.  I registered us both.  We registered for Cooper's Cause Annual 5k.  A great organization and cause!  $30 to register late but I was very happy with the goodies we received; a t-shirt, chapstick, bubble gum, a reusable bag, and a coupon for carpet cleaning.  I also paid for cookies after the run but forgot to stop and pick them up but admit wasn't sure where they were at the location.  When I finished I was also just ready to go.  Anyway results aren't officially in, at least no results are posted online yet.  However my dad at 55 years of age finished in 24:32 and I, 36 years old, finished in 34:23.  I wanted to finish in 38 minutes so I did beat that but the pace wasn't great when you calculate it to 11 min/mile.

The course was at Rock Chalk Park inside the Lawrence Sports Complex.  The race course that was chosen was beautiful.  It was on the trail outside.  There were some steep hills both up and down that I wasn't prepared for.  When I was jogging in California on the bike trail it was relatively flat.  No hills or steep changes in the land like today's race.  I did run almost all the hills but overall they just slowed me down.  I finished strong for Nathan.  He is a regular runner if you didn't know that already.  He has run a few marathons.  I wore one of his many race shirts so that he could be there with me.
Dad and I warming up before the race

Dad finishing

Dad came back to run with me into the finish
I am proud of myself for finishing, for running a majority of it and for coming close to finishing in the 30 minute window.  This also gave my challenge partner and I an additional 20 points for the week.

As far as my volunteer work I have caught up on it.  I kind of stopped doing much in the way with MSBA the weekend before the move.  Since Nathan was home for such a short time that weekend I wanted to get in as much time with him as possible.  I then had to prepare for the movers, the drive, moving day and then driving.  It took me a little over a week to get up to date but it is done.  I even have some time to write a blog post :)

How was the end of your summer, start of your fall?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

6 Weeks Into the New Tapazole Perscription

I know I posted in July about results for my Thyroid since I was diagnosed with Graves' Disease.  I thought about going back and updating that post but I wanted to do a whole new post, keep the old numbers and put in the new ones.

Date Thyrotropin Thyroxine Notes
4-Sep-15 2.76 0.723 Diet, 5mg tapazole and cod liver oil pill (started August 10th)
17-Jul-15 0.007  1.720  Diet only but 5mg tapazole restarted on July 24th
6-May-15 0.018 1.980 Diet only
30-Mar-15 0.05 1.460 Stopped pills March 18th and started diet March 1st
13-Feb-15 0.013 0.970  10mg tapazole
26-Jan-15 0.007 1.120 10mg tapazole
17-Dec-14 less than .005 1.870 Started 10mg tapazole December 18th
7-Nov-14 less than .005 1.930  

The ranges that are "normal":
Thyrotropin: 0.27-4.20
Thyroxine: 0.890-1.760

As you can see from the latest numbers my Thyrotropin is ACTUALLY IN NORMAL.  It hasn't been normal since back in 2009/2010 was the last time I think it was checked.  I have to tell you how surprised I am because we have been under a lot of stress.

I think there are three things that have made a HUGE impact; the AIP diet of course.  I do have a cheat meal once a month.  The cod liver oil pill.  Meditating at least twice a day.  I am using free apps like Happify and Headspace.

Also I just got these results in online today.  I did call my endocrinologist to figure out what the next step is, if there is one or to just stay on this path, but he is on vacation.  I will call back on Monday to followup.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bowling Retry

My Samsung Intensity III died 2 days before the end of our Disneyland trip.  I lost all the videos and pictures that I took.  We tried everything when we got back home to pull that data from the phone including switching the motherboard from the Samsung Intensity II I saved.  Some of the pictures that I lost are from bowling at the mall in Anaheim.  Nathan kicked my butt!  It was super hot here this weekend and on Sunday the 16th we thought we would head out and find some AC.  Bowling came to mind and a possible chance to try and redeem myself from our Anaheim trip.

The first game Nathan kicked my butt.  I don't even have photos of proof of that game.  The last two games I overcame my slump and beat Nathan.  Yes I am gloating a little!  I got action shots of Nathan for both games with the scores.

Game 2:

Just in case you can't see that last photo Rikki 114, Nathan 103

Game 3:

Rikki 143, Nathan 93.

I wonder if Nathan will find it funny that I seriously had to do a blog post on my bowling scores :)

Monday, August 10, 2015

San Diego Zoo

Monday August 3rd Nathan actually had the day off.  The day off was due to the fact that they were heading out to sea for the rest of the week.  We thought that it would be nice to spend the morning at the zoo.  The hope was that more kids would be back in school and therefore be less crowded.

The zoo isn't really that big.  Well I guess I say that because I was comparing it to Disneyland and all the walking we did there.  Yes there was a significant amount of walking from one exhibit to the next but we didn't think it was bad.  It was mostly hills so it can tire you out a little faster.  We did have sunhats, a frozen bottle of water, snacks and sunscreen with us.  There was no baggage check like in Disneyland.

Here is a map of the San Diego Zoo.


Hippo under water
Nathan taking a photo of one of the Pandas
Another Panda
Nathan posing with a Panda
Nathan taking a picture of a Hippo
Nathan reading an exhibit sign
A Gorilla resting
Secretarial Bird
A Bald Eagle
Maned Wolf

Sunday, August 09, 2015

36 and 2015 Vacation Continued

We spent a FANTASTIC four days in Anaheim, CA!  We left early in the morning on the 26th and made it to Disneyland about 45 minutes before the parks opened.  It was a good thing because we initially pulled into the Disneyland Resort parking lot.  We had to turn around and head back to get to the Theme Parks parking lot.

When parking at the Disneyland Theme Parks Parking Lot keep in mind that you have to take the tram to get to the gate.  If you arrive early you can grab something to eat or browse around in Downtown Disneyland as the tram drops folks off right there.

Hubby and I got through the baggage check and when we went through the gate our e-tickets were turned into passes.  Passes are used to get through the gates every day or every time you enter the theme parks.  You don't need the pass for Downtown Disneyland but you do need them for California Adventureland and Disneyland.

As soon as we get through the gate hubby wants to head to City Hall in Disneyland.  If you don't know, and I didn't, that City Hall will provide a button to anyone celebrating a birthday or anniversary.  The gentleman wrote my name on a Birthday button and said to wear it for the day.  Hubby put the button on and for the entire day I heard "Happy Birthday" from the staff, cast and crew.  Now I am not one to broadcast on or before my birthday, when or that it is my birthday.  But it was very cool to hear the staff, cast and crew say "Happy Birthday"!
Castle - 60th Anniversary - Diamond
Selfie in front of the castle
Selfie at It's A Small World

Showing off in Toontown - maybe

We were in the park from opening until noon or 1pm.  We headed to the hotel in hopes that our room would be ready early so that we could take a much needed nap after being up at 4:00am.  Well I was up at 4am.  Hubby slept in until 4:30 or 4:45.  Anyway when we checked in our room was ready early.  WOOHOO!!  By the way we definitely recommend staying at Best Western PLUS Stovall's  Inn!  It is right across the street from the park and a fifteen minute walk through Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.  Not only that but you can get a voucher for this hotel through MWR/ITT and spend about $90 to $92 a day.  You should make a reservation at the hotel first, write down the confirmation number and then head to MWR/ITT.  I recommend when you head to MWR/ITT for the voucher that you bring the confirmation e-mail.  They will want additional information from that.  The hotel had complimentary breakfast to which I was pleased with considering an AIP/Paleo diet.  Eggs and bacon or sausage was served every morning.

Naps and showers after a nap.  It was rather warm, in the upper 80's and the sun came out first thing that first morning.  We had dinner reservations at Steakhouse 55 for my birthday.  We got dressed up and headed out a little early.  We walked to dinner through some of Downtown Disneyland.  We gawked at the various Disneyland Resorts.  We walked through the rose garden, stopped at a hidden geyser, and sat outside Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar on the comfy couches by the firepit for a couple of minutes before heading to the restaurant.
Before we left for dinner
In front of a geyser

Dinner at the restaurant was wonderful.  When we called to make a reservation we let them know ahead of time that we were celebrating a birthday.  Dinner was very good!  I want to say a handmade lemon butter with a little sprig or a couple of leaves of fresh thyme.  A warm and wonderful crusty sourdough bread (okay now we are getting into a treat and not Paleo approved items).  I ordered a steak well done and a side of green beans.  Hubby ordered their special, if I remember correctly, which came with a dessert.  The restaurant had a special dessert for folks celebrating their birthday and yes Nathan had put my birthday button back on.  Birthday dessert was in the shape of Mickey Mouse it was a chocolate mousse with chocolate wafer mouse ears.  Very yummy!

After dessert we headed back to the park.  Yes all dressed up.  We arrived in time for the electric light parade but we could watch part of the parade while standing in line for the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.  After the game we headed to see the fireworks.  It was the best fireworks show either one of us had ever seen.  After the fireworks we walked back to the hotel.  A wonderful birthday!

Monday was the same routine almost except we went to California Adventureland that day.  Dinner in the evening was a Coco's Bakery which is right next to our hotel.  We saw World of Color that evening and as we left California Adventureland, we sat outside the gate to catch the fireworks show from Disneyland Park.
Bug's Life - Grizzly Peak

Tuesday we didn't go to the theme parks.  We lounged at the pool at the hotel in the morning and then we headed down to Anaheim Garden Walk (a small mall).  We caught an early afternoon movie, Ant-Man, and then played 4 games of bowling.  Nathan kicked my butt on all 4 games.  We had lunch/supper at Cheesecake Factory.
Lounging at the hotel pool after some laps

Wednesday we spent time at each park again for our last day.  We caught the Fantasmic show the last evening.
Photo by the Grizzly River Rapids
Photo while one of the rafts was coming down a hill - Grizzly River Rapids

Thursday we were headed back home.  We slept in a little and then went down to get breakfast.  In the afternoon we stopped at M&M Donuts for "lunch" for the ride home.

It was a really wonderful vacation!